Enhancing biomedical science

to promote healthier living in China. By combining our expertise in nutrition science with the convenience and reach of Xiaomi’s MIUI operating system, we aim to help China’s over-50s improve their diets – a crucial demographic in a country that is aging fast.

The platform we developed allows users to input their daily food intake, as well as information about their weight, blood pressure, sleep patterns and exercise habits. Using big data analytics, it can then generate individualized nutrition reports for each user.

The platform already has more than 8 million users and has shown 320?000 people how they have a lack of variety in their diets. We hope to use this platform to help improve the diets of adults and the aging population in China.

A discovery that sheds light on the treatment of diabetes

In partnership with leading academics, our scientists made an important scientific discovery into action mechanisms of the most common drug for lowering blood sugar levels. Published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine, the was carried out by Nestlé research scientists and academics from in the US and in Denmark.

Around 382 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes, and metformin is the most common drug prescribed to lower blood sugar levels. Derived from the Galega officinalis plant, it is rich in galegine. But despite its use for more than 60 years, the drug’s precise mechanism of action remains unclear.

Our research found that metformin works by inducing mild energy stress in the liver, leading to an increase of a chemical compound known as cellular adenosine monophosphate, which triggers the inhibition of fructose 1,6-biphosphatase, a key enzyme for controlling glucose production.

These findings are important not just because they expand our knowledge, but because they could be applied in the development of natural therapies for lowering blood glucose levels.

Helping young scientists get their professional start

At the end of October 2018, Nestlé Research signed a five-year agreement with the University of Lausanne (UNIL) in Switzerland to enable students to apply for doctoral training positions at Nestlé. An organization dedicated to bringing fundamental science into breakthrough innovations, Nestlé Research shares with UNIL a commitment to world-class research. By building an academic bridge between the two organizations, this agreement strengthens a key scientific partnership.

Under the new scheme, UNIL students can apply for doctoral training positions at Nestlé, where they can carry out research projects while working toward PhDs or MD-PhDs from the university. While at Nestlé Research, students will be part of a dynamic, interdisciplinary environment with state-of-the-art facilities and will receive professional guidance. The benefits go both ways: as we help students work on important research, we build a pipeline of emerging talent.

We’re committed to supporting young people entering into professional life, and we’ve been involved in youth projects all around the world as part of our Global Youth Initiative. Through this partnership, we aim to raise the standards of science and support a new generation of world-leading scientists.

Working with top scientists on the healthy aging of muscles

We made a key discovery about the role of the peptide apelin in sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, in collaboration with top scientists from the and the . Sarcopenia impacts around an estimated 5–10% of over-65s, and can lead to reduced balance and mobility and an increase in the risk of falls. All told, the condition can have a serious impact on a person’s independence.

Our study, , showed that muscle stem cells lose capacity to respond to apelin during aging and that apelin production when muscles contract during exercise declines in older people.

Providing apelin therapeutically enhanced muscle healing by activating stem cells, and increased muscle mass and strength. Our results open the way to new biomedical applications as apelin production can be activated with specific nutritional supplements, and blood levels of apelin could also be used as a biomarker in the diagnosis of sarcopenia.

These findings can help older people maintain healthy muscles, and live independent lives for longer.

How meal replacement programs could be part of the solution to obesity

In a world where obesity and diabetes are at epidemic levels, we trialed the Optifast meal replacement program to see if it was more effective at producing meaningful weight loss than a standard food-based diet and lifestyle program. The results were hugely encouraging: compared to those on a food-based diet, participants in the Optifast program lost twice as much weight and had greater improvement in blood sugar levels.

The study started in February 2016, and we started sharing our results with the scientific community and healthcare professionals in 2018. We presented our findings at several scientific congresses, including the in May, the in June and in November. The Optiwin study was published in the journal Obesity in November.


Find out more

CSV - Linkbox - Helping children live healthier lives
CSV - Linkbox - Helping children live healthier lives

How we're inspiring healthier lives

Our 2030 ambition is to help 50 million children lead healthier lives.

CSV - Linkbox - Building, sharing and applying
CSV - Linkbox - Building, sharing and applying

Building, sharing and applying nutrition knowledge

With a network of research centers spanning the globe, our scientists are discovering more about the human body and the role food plays in overall health.

CSV - Linkbox - Sharing nutrition knowledge
CSV - Linkbox - Sharing nutrition knowledge

Sharing nutrition knowledge throughout life

Our research looks at the connection between nutrition and health in all ages.

CSV - Linkbox - Micronutrient fortification
CSV - Linkbox - Micronutrient fortification

Micronutrient fortification

We’re fortifying our foods and beverages to help families around the world get the micronutrients they need.

Download our Creating Shared Value report

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